Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Looney Bin gets a New Coat for Winter

It's more of a pretty mini skirt in mint green, rather than a coat, but still it should keep us warm and hopefully drier.

Last year, perhaps because the winter was more wet than icy cold, we had an issue with condensation gathering around the base of our inside walls. At times it would creep about 12 inches across our concrete floors. We had not noticed the issue the winter before but we had deeper and longer freezing temps in the winter of 2015-16.

This condensation was ugly and although it did not ruin any of our drywall, it required regular wiping up. We had sealed the concrete but not painted it, which was good because the floor was in it's natural ugly state anyway, but we worried that too much moisture might evolve into a mold issue.

But summer came, the weather warmed up and in fact it has been very dry here, so no condensation issues for several months. But, winter is out there, and we needed to get busy on this issue again.

So we asked the opinions of several people, especially those who deal in concrete, and the conclusion was unanimous---no one was sure what the problem was. Nothing like a concensus, eh? So we contacted the folks who did all the inside insulation and asked their opinion. They suggested MORE insulation but on the outside of the looney bin.

You see, when we built this grain bin house, we were making it up as we went. Although there were tons of pictures on the internet and Pinterest, there was very little regarding actual grain bin home construction.   So per the suggestion of the folks who installed the grain bin for us, a deep foundation was dug and a concrete footer was poured. On the outside of the footer we placed two inches of thick foam as a barrier between the back filled earth and the concrete footer. See photo below.

But apparently we still needed more insulation over the edge of the footer that rests at ground level.
Yesterday Sealtite Corporation came and spray foamed a lovely green layer of additional insulation around the bottom of our Looney Bin. It is about 3 inches thick and goes 16in up from our foundation and 3-4 inches out from the bottom.

We could leave it as is...functional but ugly...instead, Keith is returning to the folks who installed the grain bin to get more steel from them to match the rest of the house. It will be curved so we'll run it around the base of the new insulation and built a wood cap or bench all the way around. Will make nice seating for visitors or place for flower boxes. 

This bench will also keep critters like ducks and chickens from picking at the insulation.
Pesky poultry!


  1. Well her miniskirt looks fabulous. I love the idea of turning it all into a wrap around bench. How many great things could that be used for plus I think it will look pretty cool.

  2. Considering that a Grain Bin is designed to store grain, and presumably keep it dry, your problem is a mystery. I have only ever had one home that had a condensation problem. I installed a dehumidifier; that did the job.

  3. This is the real life learn as you go! It's good you had some resources to go to for suggestions, and I surely hope the additional insulation works. Seems like it should! And a bench around the house to cover it is a great idea. This is spontaneous but functional creativity and I love it.

  4. I can see this post helping lots of folks if grain bin re-purposing keeps trending. Kudos to you for sharing!

  5. I like the idea of the benches! That's a great way to cover the "unique look" ;) I hope you get this comment Donna :)

  6. I wonder if there is a 'grain bin houses' forum anywhere? Maybe you should start one for all the questions you and others may have!! Love the idea of a bench around the house.

  7. Most of the building contractors I know swear by that stuff, wouldn't use anything else.

  8. And that min green mini was looking quite lovely on the loony bin, Donna. I can understand how you would not want that condensation to return again this year.

  9. How many great things could that be used for plus I think it will look pretty cool.



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